Sunday, December 13, 2015

A Question To Ponder

The other day, the senior trainer on our team asked me a question as we filled out our records after the final session.

"If you could have a drink with one of the animals here, who would it be?" she asked.  

The creator of said question

What a fantastic question, right?  Don't you ever wonder that about the animals you know?  What would they say if you were granted Doolittle amnesty and you could just chillax with a frosty beverage and wax poetic with another species of animal?  

"Take your time," the senior trainer added.   She knew how serious of a question this was.

So I walked around our main dolphin habitat, checking the area for the night to make sure everything looked good.  As I peered into the underwater viewing windows, I saw the dolphins playing*.  I heard their seemingly endless whistles.  So many people wonder what dolphins would say if they could talk, including this gal.

What do you think, Pooh?

But to narrow it down to ONE animal, that's basically impossible.  I basically had a panic attack thinking about it.  Because I want to talk to THEM ALL.

So I decided in my own head to come up with one ambassador from many of the animal groups I take care of at my current job**, and what drink I would enjoy with them.  As an aside, you should know that while I'm not a teetotaler (not that there is anything wrong with that choice), I don't really drink alcohol unless it falls under the following categories:

1. Tastes like fruit juice
2. Tastes like pumpkin pie
3. Has an ice cream component
4. Has a copious amount of spaghetti accompanying it

A Golden Cadillac.  The best alcoholic ice cream drink ever

I already talk way too much in my almost-eternal sobriety, so it's not a jolly time around me when I imbibe.  Plus, because I like all things sugary, I pretty much want to rip out my own intestines if I have too many blueberry beers.   So don't take the following drinks as a judgment against people who enjoy the nectar of fermented sugar. 



Mmmm, this whistle is delicious

Animal: Kaya
Explanation: Because she's a calf, and hasn't had enough time to be corrupted by the adults
Beverage of choice: Chocolate milk (because she's seven months old, for cryin' out loud)

Sample of conversation:

Me: So what do you think of us humans?
Kaya: Your flippers are big
Me: No like, on a philosophical level.  Do you think we're smart? Fun? Do you like me?  Do you think I'm smart?
Kaya: Your head is hairy

Sea Lions


Animal: Tina
Explanation: Because she's insanely smart and has crazy eyes
Beverage of choice: Screwdriver (I'd just have the OJ)

Sample of conversation:

Me: I just want you to know that I acknowledge your genius.  I'm honored to know you
Tina: Look, I admit that humans seem pretty sharp.  But it's nice to hear that you guys know the truth about my superior intelligence.
Me: But what is your obsession with ice cubes about?
Tina: *shifts crazy eyes nervously, slams back the drink* I'm not able to disclose that information at this time


She has a sixth sense

Animal: Augustina
Explanation: She spooks at things unseen
Beverage of choice: Diet Coke

Sample of conversation:

Me: What???? WHAT!!! WHAT DO YOU SEE?!

African Penguins

Cranberry is the best

Animal: Cranberry
Explanation: The sweetest penguin in all the land
Beverage of choice: Juice

Sample of conversation: 

Me: I just love you, Cranberry
Cranberry: I love everybody! And rainbows! And sparkles!
Me: I love it when you sit in my lap and snuggle!
Cranberry: I also love to imagine faraway lands! And bubbles! And smiles! And...

Asian Small-Clawed Otters


Animal: Luna
Explanation: She's unpredictable and loves her snacks, just like me
Beverage of choice: Vanilla milkshake (with fries)

Sample of conversation:

Me: Can you at least give us a little hint before you lose your temper? Like just the teensiest little precursor?
Luna: No.  Are there any more fries?

Let's face it, if I had the ability to understand non-human animals on a verbal level, I'd try to chat with every single one of them.  That's another reason not to choose alcoholic beverages, I suppose, because I think my liver would probably just drop the mic and walk out after a while.  But I digress.  We as trainers spend so much time establishing two-way communication with our animal pals, and it is an awesome thing.  But all of us want to know the thoughts going on in the animals' minds, and I'm sure they want to know ours (okay, okay, I actually think some of the animals I know DO read my mind, and it freaks me out).  

But now I pose this impossible question to you: who among YOUR animal family (at work or at home) would you have a drink with?  

* Or engaging in adult activities

** I didn't leave out the parrots because they aren't amazing.  I left them out because I seriously cannot choose which parrot to talk to.  


  1. Gulf World...Brinnon, I wanna knock a few back and we can both reminise about our glory days in the military. Also....after a few too many I think she may reveal who she's talking to when she spins solo in the main look straight into the sky.

  2. That was glorious.